Timekeeping Blog

Timekeeping 101: Minutes and Decimal Hours

Posted on 12 Jul 2013

Many people hate math and all of its evil cousins, such as algebra, calculus and decimals.  While one may argue that the real life practical use of the first two is non-existent, it’s hard to be a small business owner and not come across decimals on a frequent basis.  This is especially true for the wise service-oriented small business owners who use a telephone timekeeping system to capture accurate time for their remote hourly employees.  On most timesheet reports, the minutes will be reflected in a decimal form.  But don’t fearour timecard reports give you the decimal format (used in payroll) and the equivalent time in hours and minutes (numbers we are used to seeing).

For example, 4.35 hours in NOT 4 hours and 35 minutes.  Because time is a number system with 60 as its base (not 100 based) the math is not that easy.     In reality 4.35 hours is actually 4 hours and 21 minutes.  The calculation is .35 x 60=21 minutes or 21÷60=.35.

It helps to think of the basic time conversions we know (see the last row in the chart):

• 15 minutes is a quarter of an hour, .25

• 30 minutes is a half of an hour, .50

• 45 minutes is three quarters of an hour, .75

• 60 minutes is one hour, 1.00

But who has time for all of that? We are all for keeping it simple. Below is a handy conversion chart.  Feel free to print it off and refer to it when faced with a challenge in which the conversion wasn’t done for you.

converions hours to minutes

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